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Leadership Team

Leslie Schultz
Leslie Schultz
Director, Premier Safety Institute

Leslie Schultz, PhD is a nationally recognized expert in documenting and sharing reliable evidence-based best practices among hospitals. Dr. Schultz was formerly the Senior Director for Premier’s national QUEST®: Premier’s national high-performing hospitals collaborative using data to drive improvements in harm, mortality, evidenced based care, patient experience and cost of care. Dr. Schultz led the development and knowledge transfer for Premier’s Performance Improvement Portal, an electronic community to support all Premier’s collaborative groups.

She served as the Training and Education Lead for Premier’s Hospital Engagement Network, one of the networks for the national CMS initiative, Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs. Dr. Schultz also served as the director of the Patient Safety Center for Ascension Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Alfred University, a Master of Science in nursing administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in Hospital and Health Administration from The University of Iowa College of Medicine. She is board certified in healthcare quality (CPHQ) and as a Nurse-Executive, Advanced (NEA-BC) and served on the NQF Steering Committee for the Framework for Public Reporting of Patient Safety Events Information project (2010) and the NQF’s Patient Safety Measures Standing Committee (2014-2019). She currently serves on the NQF’s Consensus Standards Advisory Committee (CSAC).

Gina Pugliese
Gina Pugliese
Vice President, emeritus

Gina Pugliese – respected colleague, trusted advisor and dear friend – passed away peacefully on March 4 surrounded by her loved ones. As with anything she took on, Gina was relentless, determined and valiant as she deployed her usual boundless energies against an unworthy opponent.

Gina was a Fellow in The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America (SHEA) and a scholarship in her name was established by SHEA to promote the training of a non-physician infection preventionist (IP) who has shown outstanding interest and leadership in the field or works in a resource-limited setting. To donate, visit Gina Pugliese Scholarship. Select “Specific Scholarship Donation” and choose “Gina Pugliese Scholarship” from the dropdown menu.

Gina led Premier’s Safety Institute® and drove significant improvements in healthcare safety for 17 years before officially retiring in 2016. As a Strategic Advisor consultant and Vice President, Emeritus (she is the sole recipient of that special honor), Gina contributed to Premier, our members and their patients up to the very end of her life. She continued to guide our work on antimicrobial surveillance, opioids, implementation of tubing and other safety standards, as well as an array of other public health issues.

During Gina’s career, she helped shape the practice of infection control, bringing innovation and leadership to the field. She was a prolific writer and educator, sharing her knowledge at more than 300 conferences in 21 countries, publishing over 150 articles and eight books and as faculty for Rush University College of Nursing and University of Illinois, Public Health. She also served as an associate editor for the American Journal of Infection Control and the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Gina sat on numerous national policy committees, providing congressional testimony for regulatory initiatives.

Gina received numerous recognitions and awards for her contributions to her field including Employee of the Year at the American Hospital Association, recognition by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for her work on bloodborne pathogens training for OSHA and the establishment of the Gina Pugliese Scholarship by SHEA (The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America). She also received the Carol De Mille outstanding achievement award from APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Prevention and Control) and was named by Becker as one of Top 50 Experts in Patient Safety.

Gina was a bright and shining light and anyone who had the fortune to know her, had their life touched in immeasurable ways.